This is 1984. Not Orwell’s 1984 but the first outbreak of the ‘militarisation’ to hit the streets of Britain. I spent the full twelve months covering the miners strike as an Industrial Correspondent on TV. Against great pressures I reported that the army had been drafted in in unmarked police uniforms to smash heads and the miners strike. I was awarded two national journalism awards for my ‘consistently fair, accurate, in depth analysis and coverage’. Take a close look at the ‘uniform’ front-right of the photo. No police number or identifying marks. Thatcher was also prepared to declare a ‘State of Emergency’ across the whole of Britain using troops to ‘maintain vital national interests’. That is as close as Britain has ever come to being locked down in to a police/military controlled state.

I’ve chosen 1984 as ‘Stage One’ because it was the first clear break-out in public of a clandestine strategy started ten years before, in the mid-1970s. That strategy was launched by a group of retired senior Army officers, chief among them one of the men who created the SAS. A maverick, he’d tried a similar strategy in Africa (including South Africa). When it failed he turned back to the politics of Britain. A plot was forged between this ‘Army’ group and senior Tory figures to blacken senior Labour Government Cabinet members, senior Trades Union officials, and others. The aim, to destroy the Labour Government, castrate union power and enforce a Tory government on Britain. 

Within five years, it had worked. 

In 1979 Thatcher swept to power. Within another five years the strongest union, the National Union of Mineworkers was targeted, smashed, and crushed. In the process ALL union resistance was undermined, too.

In 1982 Thatcher, secretly, insisted that British power stations stockpile millions of tons of coal. It was a preparation for ‘war’ at home

In 1983 Thatcher won power again after throwing Britain’s military might to the Falkland Islands. Why? Because she was heading for political defeat at the forthcoming General Election and a display of military power abroad, the oldest trick in the politicians book (to name a common enemy to win support at home) was an early warning of that ‘military’ action at home.

The Miners Strike in 1984 was THE moment for Thatcher and her ‘Generals’ to do the ‘striking’. 

The tactical strategy involved, secretly, throwing millions of pounds of Government money to infiltrate unions, pit communities, and bankroll a breakaway mining union to split the miners. Shadowy figures were organised from one of the capital’s best-known ‘Gentleman’s Clubs’, and from a suite in London’s most expensive hotel. Key figures in the unions and mining were targeted, blackened or bought off with either money or promises. (All of them ended up later either ‘honoured’, disgraced, isolated, or betrayed). 

Look carefully at the ‘uniform’ right/front of the photo. There are no numbers or anything to identify the person in ‘uniform’. Then look closely at the other unmarked ‘uniforms’ around him. Drafted on to the streets of Britain to smash heads and smash resistance. The early stages of what was and is a deliberate Tory policy of ‘MILITARISATING BRITAIN’.

Paul Starling